Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, decreases the size of the breasts while maintaining an aesthetically-pleasing shape. After breast reduction, you will have multiple incisions that need care. Here’s what to expect in terms of how to care for your breasts after breast reduction.
- Swelling and mild bruising are normal after surgery but will gradually subside over 10-14 days.
- Twenty-four hours after surgery, you can remove the outer dressings from the breasts. Leave the taped bandages, which are directly on the incision, in place. The strips should be left alone and allowed to fall off on their own or will be removed by your surgeon in the office.
- You may shower 24 hours after the surgery and allow soap and water to gently run over the areas without scrubbing. The areas should be gently dried with a clean towel.
- You may use a bra use for comfort purposes; however, you should avoid underwire bras as they can irritate your incisions. Underwire bras should be avoided for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery.
- Drainage tubes should be emptied and recorded three times daily. This will allow proper timing of drain removal.
- Monitor your breasts for signs of infection: spreading redness, increased swelling, excessive drainage or pus, foul odor, increasing pain, and/or increasing warmth. A temperature over 101 degrees Fahrenheit may also be an indicator of infection.
Hall-Findlay EJ. Vertical Reduction Mammaplasty. In Thorne CHM, Beasely RW, Aston SJ, Bartlett SP, Gurtner GC, Spear S, eds. Grabb and Smith’s Plastic Surgery, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2007.
Cohen BE, Ciaravino ME. Reduction Mammaplasty. In Evans GRD, ed. Operative Plastic Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.